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THE AMERICAN ART REVIEW. 



355 



may be introduced in tliem or may be left out, as in land- 
scape painting or arabesque ornaments. Hegel is forced 
to depreciate natural beauty ; the beauty of nature for him 
"remains at the level of the products of mechanical 
forces," — a statement which is true enough, but shows 
how much his mind was swayed by a regard for intellect 
alone. Beauty itself is valuable as well as thoughtj and 
the question of its generation is intrinsically irrelevant 
to its value. Hegel was a logician, and he formed his 
philosophy of art from the stand-point of logic, without an 
adequate knowledge of its history or a sensibility to its 
attractions, considered independently of its intellectual 
contents. His defects in history have been hinted at; 
his defects in artistic sense are revealed by his admiration 
of the later Dutch painters, like Ostade, Teniers, and Van 
Steen, of whose works he says, " If any one would know 
what painting is, he must examine these little pictures ; it 
is then that he will be able to say of this or that master. He 
can paint." Similarly, his defects in literary taste (for he 
places literature among the arts) are shown by such a sen- 
tence as this: "The self-abandonment of the poet in re- 
spect of his manifestations must, as with Sterne and Hip- 
pel, be a naive, easy, simple throwing off of thought which 
in its unpretentiousness gives precisely the highest idea 
of depth." No literary judgment of Sterne could be more 
wrong. Hegel was thus disqualified from treating of art. 
He applied his logical metaphysics to what he knew of art, 
reversed the scientific method, consulted the facts after he 
had formed his theories, contented himself with generali- 
ties and analogies; and the result is what might be ex- 
pected, — a mixture of some historic truth with so much 
theoretic error that his work is vitiated throughout. 

It is well known that Hegel's language is usually diffi- 
cult to understand ; it cannot be said that the translator 
has clarified it to any extent, and his work is, besides, 
marred by inexcusable faults in the most common prin- 
ciples of writing English. 

G. E. WOODBERRY. 



THE KERAMIC ART. 

Keramics : a Complete Practical Treatise on China 
Painting in America, with some Suggestions as to 
Decorative Art. In Three Parts. I. Introduction ; 
II. Practice; III. Underglaze. By Camille Piton, 
Principal of the National Art Training School, Phila- 
delphia, Pa. With 3 folio albums of plates. New 
York : John Wiley and Sons. 1880. 

N M. Piton's little work the literature of the 
keramic art obtains a distinct acquisition, for, 
as its title indicates, it is a practical treatise, 
covering all the elements of technique for the 
guidance of the student. After a preliminary chapter on 
the theory of color, illustrated in the first album by a use- 
ful colored diagram, which our author calls the chromatic 
rose, he proceeds to define porcelain and faience, and the 
outlines of the processes by which colors are applied and 
fixed to their surfaces over glaze, with advice as to the 
rules to be observed in choosing pieces for decoration. 
The processes to which he invites the special attention of 
the student are illustrated in minute detail by a series of 
exercises in decoration, based upon the excellent plates 
which accompany the book. All the mechanical devices 




and methods of manipulation in following the copies, and 
transferring them to the surface of tiles or plates, are de- 
scribed with curious minuteness ; and although, as it seems 
to us, these devices and methods are rather those of the 
artisan than of the artist, perhaps by this limitation the 
book is rendered more useful to the beginner, to the end 
that he may be well grounded in practice of hand before 
attempting new fields of design, and entering upon the 
realm of imagination and invention. The second part 
opens with certain perfunctory observations upon drawing 
and color, and then gives practical rules for applying vari- 
ous kinds of grounds and borders for various surfaces and 
various firings, illustrated as before by examples, and not 
without much naivete of precept and much insistance of 
certain rigorous methods of procedure. Thevvork is abun- 
dant in models of various sorts for decorative designs, with 
birds, insects, flowers, foliage, landscapes, and figures, and 
the text, in the same quaint pedagogical fashion as before, 
gives the proper palettes for each subject, together with 
the order of processes in reproducing it upon the glazed 
surface for baking. 

The book closes with some hints on underglaze or high- 
fire painting. This little work is not in literary form, nor 
is it well ordered and arranged in respect to subject, and 
we suspect that the excellent M. Piton suffers somewhat 
in being "overset" into readable English; but nowhere 
else does experience so patiently expound in respect to 
china painting, and nowhere else can the conscientious 
student of the art obtain a better guide. The portfolio of 
examples presents at full size a series of typical subjects 
in outline, in Japanese, Arabesque, and Renaissance forms, 

and a few studies from nature. 

Henry Van Brunt. 




ENGRAVING. 

The Print Collector. An Introduction to the Knowl- 
edge necessary for forming a Collection of Ancient 
Prints. By J. Maberly. With an Appendix contain- 
ing Fielding's Treatise on the Practice of Engraving. 
Edited, with Notes, an Account of contemporary Etch- 
ing and Etchers, and a Bibliography of Engraving, by 
Robert Hoe, Jr. New York : Dodd, Mead, and 
Company. 1880. viii -j- 336 pp. and 10 plates. 8vo. 

T has been said that it requires more courage to 
praise than to blame. There is some truth in this 
statement, for he who finds fault — in matters of 
art and literature at least — is tolerably sure to be 
looked upon as a " critic," and hence as superior in knowl- 
edge and insight to the person with whom he has found 
fault. But, on the other hand, to a man or woman in 
whom the milk of human kindness has not been com- 
pletely soured, it is a pleasure to praise, and a disagreeable 
duty to blame ; and from this it follows that not all criti- 
cism is inspired by the egotistic and cowardly sentiment 
so often attributed to critics. In the case of a book like 
the one now under consideration, it becomes positively 
painful to say aught but good. For it is evidently a labor 
of love, to which the leisure moments of a busy life have 
been devoted ; and as a specimen of tasteful, chaste, and 
simple book-making, it is above reproach. The most 
agreeable course to be pursued would be to maintain 
silence. That, however, being impossible, nothing re- 



356 



THE AMERICAN ART REVIEW. 



mains but to speak what seems to be the truth, and to 
support the unfavorable verdict which must be given by a 
simple statement of facts. 

Mr. Hoe's book naturally presents itself for review in 
two divisions; the first of these consisting of the reprints 
of Maberly's and Fielding's treatises; the second, of 
• the editorial additions. It may be thought rather late 
in the day to question the value of a book like Maberly's, 
which has been before the public for so long a time, yet it 
is not a whit less true that it does not deserve the honor 
of a reprint. Maberly's book is chatty and diffuse, and 
although it contains many sensible hints on the subject of 
" states " and " rarities," it is open to several vital objec- 
tions: — It neglects the technique oi engraving altogether 
too much ; it serves to strengthen the would-be collector in 
the want of appreciation which so many of his elder brethren 
have for the works of modern artists ; it inculcates mainly 
that accumulation of memory knowledge which is often the 
collector's only possession, and makes him incapable of 
exercising an independent judgment in the presence of a 
work not duly accredited and registered in books of author- 
ity ; it fosters the spirit which attaches no value to a man's 
work as long as others have not made him famous, — which 
allows a Zeghers to die in poverty and wretchedness, and 
then pays enormous prices for the few specimens of his 
works that have survived him,i which neglects the etchings 
of Mdryon and the plates of the Liber Studiorum, and 
bids wildly for their possession when the artist can no 
longer profit by the value set upon them. 

The first of the two defects alluded to Mr. Hoe has 
endeavored to remedy by the addition of Fielding's Art of 
Engraving. But again the question arises whether this 
treatise was worthy of republication,' and again the reply 
must be in the negative. Fielding's descriptions of pro- 
cesses are confused, and in one or two instances marred 
by inaccurate statements, which are misleading. Thus, in 
speaking of soft-ground etching, he says, " Draw the out- 
line of your subject faintly on a piece of smooth thin 
writing-paper," and then proceeds to show how this smooth 
paper is affixed to the plate, and how the drawing is exe- 
cuted upon it. But a little reflection will show that no 
result, or at least only a very inadequate one, can be 
reached with smooth paper, the success of the process 
being dependent on the grain of the paper.' 

The most ambitious part of Mr. Hoe's editorial labors 
is the Bibliography. It shows a great deal of patient re- 
search, but it is curiously defective. Thus, of Andresen's 
important works not a single one is mentioned, and among 
Bartsch's works the Anleitung zur Kupferstichkunde, 
the book of all others which ought to be recommended to 
the student, is wanting. The works of Van der Kellen, 
Hippert and Linning, and Wessely, all of them more val- 
uable than very many of those included in the Bibliogra- 
phy, are also omitted. The comments on some of the 
books in the list do not seem to be absolutely reliable, if 

1 At the Drugulin sale, which came off last December in Leipsic, an 
etching by Zeghers brought 2690 marks (3672.50). 

' Lest I be accused of speaking without authority, 1 will fortify my 
position by citing two witnesses whose reliability cannot be impeached. 
"A sheet of paper with a grain was then laid on the plate," says Mr. 
Hamerton, in Etching and Etchers, 2d ed., p. 434; and M. Lalanne, 
pp. 52 and 53 of the English edition, says : " On this soft ground, fix a 

piece of very thin paper having a grain In . . . etchings of this 

s6rt . . . the grain of the paper plays an important part. Smooth paper 
\^papier satine] gives no result whatever." 



one may judge by the longest of them, which is devoted to 
John Baptist Jackson. The author seems to have forgotten 
that Jackson executed quite a number of large and brilliant 
clair-obscur engravings, some of which, like the St. Peter 
Martyr, after Titian, are far from being "failures," in spite 
of the (somewhat garbled) quotation from Savage. The 
prints Savage alluded to are Jackson's attempts at printing 
in " positive colors," and even these failures are now be- 
ginning to be sought for collections. The specimen lately 
offered at the Drugulin sale went to the Royal Library at 
Brussels. 

The misprints throughout the volume, but espefcially in 
the titles of French and German books as given in the 
Bibliography, are inexcusable. 

S. R. KOEHLER. 



THE STATISTICS OF ART. 

The Year's Art. A Concise Epitome of all Matters 
relating to the Arts of Painting, Sculpture, and Ar- 
chitecture, which have occurred during the Year 1879, 
together with Information respecting the Events of the 
Year 1880. Compiled by Marcus B. Huish, LL.B. 
London: Macmillan & Co. 1880. xvi -(- 218 pp. 
i2mo. 




HIS little book aspires to do in a modest way 
for English art what M. Champier's V Annie 
Artistique (see page 81 of the Review) is des- 
tined to do for the art of France, or, indeed, of 
the whole of Europe. Some of the English papers have 
spoken of it rather slightingly, and it cannot be denied that 
it is capable of improvement ; but it nevertheless deserves 
respectful greeting, and will be of great value to those who 
desire to obtain a bird's-eye view of art doings in the 
United Kingdom, while to travellers in search of artistic 
instruction or entertainment it offers itself as a convenient 
guide-book. It is easy to find flaws in works of this sort, 
but only those who Iiave been engaged in similar work can 
appreciate the difficulties to be overcome, and they also 
will be the most ready to excuse the deficiencies of a first 
attempt. The most glaring want of the book is the ab- 
sence of a Table of Contents, and those who desire to put 
it to real use will find it a necessity to supply this want 
themselves. There is, indeed, an Alphabetical Index, but 
that is useful only to those who know what to look for. 
To a reader to whom England, artistically speaking, is a 
terra incognita, this index is a blind leader. Typograph- 
ical errors are also a nuisance which nothing can excuse, 
and of these, unfortunately, there are none too few. 

To the traveller the information concerning museums, 
galleries, and exhibitions will be the most important. To 
the general reader the interest centres in that part of the 
book which treats of the efforts made by the state and 
municipal corporations in the direction of art education. 
It appears that the sum voted by Parliament in aid of 
" Science and Art " amounted to ^495,428 in 1879. The 
sum actually devoted to art is not stated, but from the 
table on page 34 it seems that about ;^82,ooo must be de- 
ducted for science. From the chapter on " The Science 
and Art Department," we learn that the number of general 
schools in which elementary drawing is taught amounts 
to 4,170, that being the number of school,s in which exam- 
inations were held in 1878. The increase in the number